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June 14, 2012
Toronto's War of 1812 Bicentennial events launched at Fort York
The Honourable Michael Chan MPP, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City's Economic Development Committee, officially launched today Toronto's War of 1812 Bicentennial program at the Fort York National Historic Site.

"Honouring the War of 1812 Bicentennial is significant to the people of Toronto and Ontario,” said Minister Chan. “As an important historical event, the War of 1812 greatly affected how the Province has developed. Bicentennial commemorations give all Ontarians an opportunity to celebrate how far we have come in 200 years - our evolution into a strong, diverse and vibrant society and a leading tourism destination.”

The City of Toronto and its many program partners unveiled the list of historic and contemporary events which will be held throughout June and July to celebrate the War of 1812 Bicentennial. The free events include a concert by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a light show on the CN Tower and a 200-tent art installation at Fort York. Many of the events will take place this weekend, June 15 to 17. For a complete event listings or for more information visit

The Fort York Foundation also announced at the launch that the W. Garfield Weston Foundation has made a lead gift of $1 million to the Fort York Invigorated Capital Campaign. The Foundation’s gift will be directed toward the rehabilitation of Garrison Common, which is part of the ongoing revitalization of the Fort York National Historic Site.

"The transformation of Toronto from a garrison town of 700 into a metropolis of 2.7 million began at Fort York," said Councillor Thompson. "We not only honour our past by launching an impressive Bicentennial program here, but we are also ensuring that this historic site continues to inspire through the generous gift received today for its revitalization."

Fort York is a key focus for the War of 1812 Bicentennial, as it was the location of a traumatic battle on April 27, 1813, in which British, Canadian and First Nations combatants defended the Town of York (Toronto) against U.S. forces. Today, the Fort's walls enclose Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, more than 100 bicentennial events will take place in Toronto. This City of Toronto commemorative program is the result of nearly 40 partnerships with First Nations, community, cultural, heritage, and military organizations supported by the Governments of Canada and Ontario along with corporate and media sponsorships. For more information about the City's War of 1812 Bicentennial program and its events visit:

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Senior Communications Coordinator

Rob Foote
Office of Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Katherine Holmes
Fort York Foundation - Holmes Creative Communications



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